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Ambassador Kirk Comments on USTR's Role in President's New National Export Initiative

02/04/2010 - 2:30pm

Ambassador Kirk commented today on USTR's role in the President's new National Export Initiative. Details of the initiative were shared by Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke in a speech at the National Press Club today. Ambassador Kirk, Secretary Locke, and other Administration officials are teaming up to help reach the President's goal of doubling U.S. exports over the next five years to support 2 million well-paying jobs here at home. From Ambassador Kirk today:

"The link between increased exports and high-quality jobs is significant enough to demand a smart, concerted effort to maximize this economic opportunity. We aren't going to leave any jobs on the table," said Ambassador Kirk. "The U.S. Trade Representative's mission is to tear down foreign barriers to American exports and to open up new markets for U.S. goods and services. And with our partners across the government, we'll work to ensure that job-creating export opportunities are available around the world to American businesses of every size and type."

Here's the USTR news from Secretary Locke's speech:

"...the National Export Initiative is going to sharpen the government's focus on the barriers that prevent U.S. companies from getting free and fair access to foreign markets.

The Office of the United States Trade Representative is working towards an ambitious and balanced Doha Round that provides our exporters new market access opportunities.

And USTR is going to be opening markets in key growth areas such as Asia with the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) - an agreement that could set a new standard for trade agreements with strong labor, environmental and market access standards.

At the same time, USTR will improve enforcement of existing international trade law and address the outstanding concerns we have with pending free trade agreements.

The United States is the most open major economy in the world...

...And that's not going to change!

But that commitment is coupled with an ongoing focus to ensure the competitiveness of U.S. companies in foreign markets.

Free trade only works in a system of rules where all parties live up to their obligations.

The United States is committed to a rules-based trading system where the American people - and the Congress - can feel confident that when we sign an agreement that gives foreign countries the privilege of free and fair access to our domestic market, we are treated the same in their countries.

That means:

  • Enforcing our trade laws;

  • Combating unfair tariff and non-tariff barriers; and

  • Cracking down on practices that blatantly harm U.S. companies, like the theft of our intellectual property.

Despite America's remarkable dependence on innovation for future growth, the current system for protecting U.S. intellectual property is fraying at the seams.

Every year, American companies in fields as diverse as energy, technology, entertainment and pharmaceuticals lose between $200 billion-$250 billion to counterfeiting and piracy.

This theft is especially damaging for U.S. companies selling abroad, as more than 50 percent of our exports depend on some form of intellectual property like software or complex technology.

And that is why our partners at USTR are committed to remedying this problem and actively pursuing IP enforcement."

The full text of Secretary Locke's remarks, with important details about the National Export Initiative is on the Commerce Department website.